Intrapsyhchic Factors in Staff Selection

By Olya Khaleelee and Patrick Tomlinson | Published in Therapeutic Communities (1997), Vol 18 No. 4.


The authors examine how a psychodynamic assessment method has been used in a residential therapeutic community for staff selection and development.
The assessment method which includes the Defence Mechanisms Test and an in-depth interview, is used to develop a personality profile clarifying defence mechanisms for each staff applicant.
Using a sample of 40 staff, the authors carried out a detailed analysis of the correlations between the staff assessment results and length of stay at the Community. The analysis shows how hypotheses can be formulated which give accurate predictions about the likely length of stay for individual staff and also some of the difficulties they may experience in various professional roles.
The paper explains some of the complexities involved in staff selection for such demanding work and shows how an understanding of the intrapsychic factors involved can greatly aid the process, leading to improvements in staff selection, development and turnover.
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